Eating Right: 7 millets that grow in your backyard and what you can do with them

Your favourite idli, dosa, payasam, appams and bisi bele baath just got a whole lot healthier! Millets you can use in your daily diet.

Millets are highly nutritious and the oldest foods known to humans, known as the first cereal grains for human consumption. They have been used as staple foods as far back as 2700 BC in Africa and India. They are ideal replacements for wheat and rice which are lower in nutritional content and high in iron, calcium and mineral content.

Here are 7 millets that you can introduce in your daily diet and reap benefits right away!

Little millet

Little Millet

Little Millet – This was domesticated in India and grown throughout. It comes in form of rice, semolina and flour. It has the highest fat content of all the millets and a good level of protein. Eaten commonly as bread, roti, dosa, rice.

Foxtail Millet

Fox tail millet (Hindi: Kutki, Kannada: Same) – Comes in the form of rice, semolina and flour. Have the highest mineral content, 2nd highest world production of all the millets. Eaten commonly as rice, roti, dosa, idli.

Finger millet (Ragi)

Finger Millet

Finger Millet (Hindi: Ragi, Kannda: Ragi) –Staple grain in Africa and India this has the highest calcium content in all the millets. This is eaten commonly as porridge, roti, dosa, mudde, payasam.

Banyard Millet

Barnyard millet (Hindi: Sanwa, Kannada: Oodhalu) – This is the fastest growing millet producing yield in 6 weeks, this has the highest fibre and iron content of all the millets.

Kodo millet crop

Kodo Millet

Kodo Millet (Hindi: Kodon, Kannada: Haarka) – High fibre and energy content, ideal for diabetics can be used to make rice

Kodo millet

Proso Millet

Proso Millet (Hindi: Chena, Kannada: Baragu) – This has the highest protein content and very high in carbs as well


Sorghum (Hindi: Jowari, Kannada: Jola) – Known as jowar, this hardy grain is consumed in the form of flat breads and porridges. It has a good protein, carb and energy content

 Pearl Millet

Pearl millet

Pearl Millet (Hindi: Bajra, Kannada: Sajje) – Commonly known as bajra India is the highest producer of bajra it is very high in protein and energy content and used in rotis, rice, sprouted, porridge

Pearl millet crop

What you can make with millets

Millets can be used to a whole variety of food that we consume everyday. They are ideal replacements to wheat and rice for their higher nutritional value. They can be used to make South Indian staples like upma, dosa, idli, vada, bajjis/pakoras, murrukus/chakkli, nipatlu, pongal, mudda (dumpling), khichdi, pulav/biriyani, kheer/payasam, baked products such as bread and biscuits, or cooked just like boiled rice.

Here are some millet recipes, on a blog site maintained by Earth360: Millets Recipes

Timbuktu Collective has a collection of recipes, categorized by kind of millet.

Our Green Foodie Millet section has some recipes that you can try too!

Where you can buy millets in Bangalore

Here is a  list of all organic stores in Bangalore ; most of them stock millets.

Here are some organisations that bring millets to the city through interfacing with farmers in peri-urban and rural areas around Bangalore:, 9440870875

Sahaja OrganicsNew No. 19, Old No. 665, 1st floor, Opp: Times of India, Sajjanrao road, VV Puram 080 26612315/ 26661420

Timbuktu OrganicsYou can buy their products across outlets in Bangalore.

Era OrganicsNo. 348, Dollars Colony, RMV Club Double Road, RMV Second Stage Ph: 80- 41606003/41606004

Navadarshanam, stocked in Mother Earth, Namdhari and other retail stores across the city.

Kavya is a student of sustainable development studies, interested in meeting, travelling, networking with individuals in the sustainable space and engaging people in environmental activities. more


  Top Stories on TA

  Top Stories in LIFESTYLE

   Get stories like this in your inbox

Kavya is a student of sustainable development studies, interested in meeting, travelling, networking with individuals in the sustainable space and engaging people in environmental activities. more

Discuss this article on Facebook

  • Ujwwaal

    Pls share local names too ! Not just kannada

    • Madhu Reddy

      This jpeg has list of all local names. Hope it helps.

      • Kiran Puttabuddi

        cool Thanks

        • Kiran Puttabuddi

          This is the Jpeg for Nutrients

  • Very superb. I always thought of these as roti material. Worth experimenting with dosas.

    • ujwalsandeep

      They can also be cooked as you cook rice and consumed as a very good alternative for our daily Carbohydrate needs.

  • ujwalsandeep


    We are an Organic Store – “NAMMANE ORGANICS” in Malleshwaram 18th Cross.
    We have all the millets of India, and managed to source Barnyard millet which is the Rarest and the MOST nutritious among the millets.

  • Arun Kaulige

    Very interesting article. Our belief in the goodness of millets is what drove us to start Kaulige Foods (
    Thanks for reinforcing our beliefs.


    Arun Kaulge,
    Founder – Kaulige Foods(
    PS – We home delivery/distribution of millets in Bangalore

    • Kiran Puttabuddi

      Do you export these to outside countries ??

  • Girish Shavi

    Anybody want to buy Millets and other Organic Food Products online can visit
    Manufacturers sell their food products in retail and bulk at and customers across India with little or no extra expenditure.
    If new manufacturers want to become a vendor they can contact me at M: 9945500309 I will help them to market their products through this eCommerce platform.